Clean Eating for Busy Moms; Coconut Oil Benefits
Coconut oil is a wonderful super food that’s incredibly good for both the inside of your body, and out. But not all coconut oil is created equal. Sure, all coconut oil comes from coconuts, but the way the oils are extracted and processed vary greatly, and some harvesting methods are very toxic. So to help you decide which coconut oil works best for your budget and personal needs, here’s a little overview.
There are two categories of coconut oils: Unrefined coconut oil, and Refined, Bleached, and Deodorized (RBD) coconut oil. The primary differences between the two are the types of coconuts used, and how the coconuts get processed into oil.
1.Unrefined coconut oil: Also called “pure” or “virgin” coconut oil, it’s made from fresh, mature coconuts. This is the purest form of coconut oil and has been minimally processed. This oil was NOT heated to high temperatures, nor were chemical solvents used to extract the oil. Instead, the oil was obtained by a quick-dry method or through a wet-mill process. By the way, there is no such thing as extra-virgin coconut oil, so don’t waste your money on marketing propaganda. This is what you want to look for!
A couple of my favorites are:
ALDI’s Simply Nature Organic Coconut oil, and is only available in the ALDI store.
Nutiva Organic Coconut Oil, you can order it online below.
2. Refined, Bleached, and Deodorized (RBD) coconut oil: This is the most common coconut oil and is made by using dried coconut meat (called copra). Once the coconut is dried, the oil is extracted by using heat and solvents. Next it’s refined, bleached, and deodorized—which is why this type of oil contains NO coconut aroma or color. Unfortunately, this type of extensive processing takes away most of the coconut oil’s health benefits. However, depending on how you plan to use the coconut oil, this option isn’t completely bad. Plus, it’s less expensive than unrefined oils.
—Oil your insides—
Why your body will love you for loving coconut oil.
Coconut oil is mostly comprised of Medium-Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) which don’t like to be stored as fat. Instead, MCTs are easily digested, absorbed, and put to use nourishing the body. Plus, they really like to be used as energy. Without getting all scientific here, what you need to know is that coconut oil is awesome for your insides and could boost your metabolism.
Some other health benefits of coconut oil:
- has antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties
- helps improve blood sugar and insulin control
- is resistant to heat, making it the healthiest oil for cooking
- improves digestion and nutrient absorption
- promotes soft skin and shiny hair
Do I eat/drink coconut oil?
We’re not recommending that you take a spoon and dig into a jar of coconut oil like it’s a bowl of ice cream, mainly because one tablespoon contains 117 calories and 13.6 grams of fat. Instead, use coconut oil in recipes in lieu of butter or other oils. Not only does it give your food a nice coco”nutty” flavor, it has a ton of health benefits associated with it. And since coconut oil stands up to high heat, use it to oil pans so stuff doesn’t stick. Although, I actually like to have a teaspoon of it plain here and there. It’s so good! Ha-ha!
—Oil your outsides—
Deep-penetrating hair conditioner.
Even though coconut oil is not technically a moisturizer, when you douse your hair with this magical elixir it penetrates the hair shaft and binds to its internal proteins. This increases the hair’s ability to hold on to water molecules, which is what brings life back to your luster-lost locks. Just remember to use it BEFORE you wash your hair, NOT AFTER, or else you’ll have a head of slicked-back locks.
Natural makeup remover.
Instead of slopping chemicals onto your skin to remove makeup, use coconut oil. Just massage a teeny-tiny bit of coconut oil on your eyes and face, wipe off the residue with toilet paper, then wash your face.
Clean your teeth and gums.
The official name is called Oil Pulling and this technique of whitening the teeth while removing harmful bacteria and reducing gum inflammation has been used in India and Asia for over 3,000 years. All you do is swish one teaspoon of coconut oil in your mouth for 15 minutes, then spit it out and brush your teeth. The oil will be milky and foamy when done—which means it extracted all kinds of gross gunk. And yes, you have to do it for that long in order for it to be effective.
Hydrate your skin.
Coconut oil is packed with Vitamin E, which helps protect and repair your skin. Rub a small amount of coconut oil between your palms, then spread it all over your thirsty skin. A little goes a long way, so use sparingly.
For many DIY recipes that use Coconut Oil mixed with Essential Oils, click HERE.
Coconut oil to the rescue.
And there you have it, a not-so-little-rundown on some of the incredible health and beauty benefits of this awesome oil. Who knew that coconut oil was such a treat?!
-blog sources: The Fit Housewife, and Shakeology Blog.